We are watching what could very well be the emergence of a New World Order that has allied and axis powers. You could envision one side led by America and the other by China, except that we have a dementia patient in the White House. However, it will be some form of the West versus the East if current trends continue. The Great Reset crew that meets in Davos and thinks they are qualified to run every aspect of your life will be on one side. The nationalistic, ethnocentric, authoritarian regimes and those dependent on them will be on the other. It is not clear which side represents the ideas of traditional liberal democracies, since these two sides are just different types of oligarchies.
The current conflict in Ukraine is instructive about how this new world may evolve. America and the West are using cancel culture as a bizarre form of foreign policy. In addition to government sanctions, corporations have voluntarily boycotted Russia in response to public pressure. Our political and cultural leaders are using the language of cancel culture, asserting that support for Ukraine is required to be on the right side of history. They even treat thoughtful and legitimate questions with scorn and accusations of treason. Add in the proliferation of Ukrainian flags in corporate logos and social media profiles, and it all feels a little like the summer of 2020 when you could get fired for failing to post a black square.
This approach is an unserious and futile form of foreign policy with the potential to strengthen axis powers. Russia actually developed a plan to seize companies abandoned during the corporate exodus. The secret sauce on a Big Mac would no longer be a secret. China and other authoritarian regimes also decided to buy valuable commodities from Russia, including fossil fuels and agricultural products, at low prices. The idea of the dollar as the reserve currency for fossil fuels is also at risk after Saudi Arabia openly contemplated accepting the Chinese yuan for oil.
The Biden administration’s stupid policy of appeasement in Iran is costing America its hegemony in the Middle East, including its relationship with Israel. Globally, our allies and unaffiliated countries lost confidence in us after the withdrawal from Afghanistan. In most actions, we have followed our NATO allies rather than leading. Even the French have been critical of Biden’s handling of and rhetoric surrounding the Ukraine conflict. The allied world could be smaller than Americans imagine if India, Vietnam, and South Korea feel sufficiently threatened or if we fail to support Taiwan against China adequately.
Most Americans have no idea how losing the petrodollar and global hegemony as the world’s lone superpower would degrade America’s economy. A recent poll reinforces how little Americans know about our economic fundamentals and how they come by the products they use every single day. There is massive bipartisan support for crippling sanctions against China. In partnership with The Trafalgar Group, Convention of States Action released the results of a new national survey conducted March 18-21. The results show that 76.4% of Independent voters, 70% of Democrat voters, and 77.8% of Republican voters believe that if China begins providing aid to Russia, President Biden should impose similar sanctions on China as he is on Russia.
“China’s close partnership with Russia–which emerged shortly before Russia’s Ukraine invasion–is now putting China in a precarious position. Americans believe, quite simply, that if the international community is able to obtain proof that the CCP is supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine, China should face the same economic consequences being imposed on Russia,” said Mark Meckler, President of Convention of States Action. “Washington, DC has put all of the focus on Russia and has conveniently ignored or minimized the more menacing threat lurking in the background. While the so-called ‘experts’ may not understand this, voters do, and they expect action.”
Do Americans really want U.S. corporations to cease all business in China as they have in Russia? American corporations produce some of their most advanced technological products in China. Do you want China to develop a plan to seize those assets? America will lose its advantage on things far more critical than some souped-up Thousand Island dressing.
Is your mom on blood pressure medication? Could anyone you love need antibiotics this year? It’s a safe bet that you rely on your smartphone and any number of computer chips to function daily, not to mention all of the things you use that require batteries. All of those items are made somewhere else, primarily in China. The U.S. does not have the infrastructure or natural resources to ramp up manufacturing production any time soon. The emperor could truly have no clothes, as America has almost no textile and apparel manufacturing. In some cases, we let go of industries so long ago that we no longer have the knowledge to fire up enough manufacturing plants domestically.
America also let its own hemisphere go. Instead of ensuring that vibrant, sufficiently educated democracies existed in Central and South America, we went adventuring in the Middle East with cultures that hate us. Arrogance following World War II led us to believe that we could build democracies anywhere. In spectacular fashion, we proved that is not possible. Meanwhile, the beachhead established by the Soviet Union in Cuba has expanded with Russian and Chinese influence throughout our southern neighbors. The Mexican cartels that control our southern border and Chinese Communist Party members reportedly intermarry.
America’s ruling class has also cheered on China for decades as investments in the high-growth economy made them wealthy. In fact, China still enriches almost every American who has a 401(k) or other qualified retirement plans. Consumers’ Research has repeatedly highlighted BlackRock’s investments in China and CEO Larry Fink’s preference for the CCP. As Consumers’ Research Executive Director Will Hild noted recently, “BlackRock and Larry Fink are suddenly trying to cozy up to the oil and gas industry. They want to pretend they haven’t spent the last decade undermining America’s energy independence while they continue to build up China’s economy.” How many Americans are willing to watch their retirement savings evaporate overnight?
In reality, the West should never have disconnected human rights and trade with China under President Bill Clinton. After President George W. Bush granted them permanent normal trade relations, China should not have entered the World Trade Organization. At this point, there should be a serious and sober strategy aimed at decoupling our economy from China. Voters should demand that policymakers develop one now.
To do that, U.S. policy would need to require corporations headquartered here to act in America’s interests. Instead, we have a group of oligarchs in finance and tech who act as global citizens and even help the CCP implement authoritarian policies. They will not voluntarily punish China the way they assisted in punishing Russia. These CEOs will have to be forced to forsake their efforts to profit off the Chinese market.
So, before American voters demand crippling sanctions on China, they should take a hard look at what that would mean. China is not a gas station with nuclear weapons as many perceive Russia to be. It didn’t take long for us to find out that they were a nuclear-armed gas station with hypersonic weapons. If you think rising gas prices hurt, what would you do when someone you love needs amoxicillin, and you find out we don’t make that here. Or chemotherapy. And what weapons could the CCP have under wraps? Canceling China the way the West chose to cancel Russia could cancel much more than you think.